This is a hybrid meeting:
- Join us in person at Knox Presbyterian Church (Lisgar & Elgin) in Geneva Hall. Please use the Garden Entrance on Elgin Street. Limited free street parking is available on Saturdays, and the City Hall Parking Garage is available for $2.00.
- Join online by registering here
. This registration covers both events.
Back to Basics: Immigration and Emigration / 9 a.m. EDT
Presenter: Ken McKinlay
Just where do we find the document potentially recording the emigration from the British Isles and the immigration in distant lands? We will be looking at the possible resources to shed light into this ongoing migration.
My Farrell Brick Wall and New Cousins: From Inchigeelagh, Cork to Holytown, Scotland and St Andrew's West, Ontario / 10 a.m. EDT
Presenters: Helen O’Farrell Sloan and Dena Palamedes
This is a story of how patience, persistence and DNA can crumble a brick wall and reveal a new family.
Dena's second great-grandfather, John Porteous, started out in the world as John Farrell. The Scottish Old Catholic records said his father was Thomas O'Farrell, his mother was Anges Coats, and John was their "lawful" child. John married Annie Crosser and five of their eight children were baptized "O'Farrell." By 1880, the family was using the name Porteous and the remaining three children were called Porteous. Thomas O'Farrell was not to be found after 1851, and his "wife" Agnes appears to have abandoned her children and started a new life as a "spinster" marrying two more times.
Thomas O'Farrell's origins and ultimate outcome were unknown, a proverbial brick wall. Eight years after Dena's family first started DNA testing, they found a match only an hour from home in Kemptville, Ontario, and the brick wall crumbled.
This is the story of how two families reconnected and of our Covid project to find out more about two brothers: Dennis, who emigrated to St. Lawrence County, New York, and later to St. Andrew's West, Ontario, and his younger brother, Thomas, who went to Holytown, Scotland.
Helen O'Farrell Sloan is a retired teacher's assistant and has been researching and writing family history stories for many decades. She lives in Williamstown, surrounded by the history of her many ancestors. Dena Palamedes is a semi-retired internal auditor living in Ottawa, Ontario. She has been actively researching both her Scottish and Greek family histories for the last ten years.